September 25, 2012

Cancer fundraiser hits close to home for North Central's Ream

More news about: North Central (Ill.)

A recent tradition by the North Central College athletic department of raising funds for the American Cancer Society will continue Saturday, Sept. 29, during the Cardinals' football game against Elmhurst College.
 
As is the case with many across the country, members of the Cardinal football program have been impacted by cancer in recent years. One team member's experiences of watching several members of his family fight a battle, which has claimed so many casualties, have served as his own rallying cry to press forward and pursue his dreams.
 
North Central senior offensive lineman Mike Ream has witnessed four members of his family combat different forms of cancer. Seeing their effort and resolve amid such suffering motivated Ream to continue pursuing his ambitions on the football field after sustaining his own serious injury.
 
“It all started my senior year of high school,” Ream said. “My aunt, who was a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with lung cancer. She battled it for a year, but after that passed away. My grandfather on my mother's side has been dealing with a lot. He had a heart transplant, lung cancer, half his lung removed, but he's still going strong. I get a lot of motivation from him. I feel like if he can push through that, I can push through anything.
 

“During my sophomore year of college, my mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She had surgery to have it removed, but she has to keep going back and forth to the doctor and it keeps coming back. My uncle, also on my mother's side, passed away in July. He moved back here from California to get treatment, and he was doing poorly. I couldn't even hug him. Just seeing him helpless was really tough.”

 
With resolve strengthened by his family's will to fight, Ream was able to focus on academics and football well enough to earn playing time as a backup in his first season with the Cardinals. The team's offense led all divisions of the NCAA in scoring at 49.0 points per game. Ream also earned Academic All-College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) honors after the season.
 
As a sophomore, Ream sustained an injury to his shoulder which required surgery. He faced a tough decision about his athletic future but needed little time to consider his own wishes.
 
“I tore my labrum and broke a bone in my shoulder,” he said. “The doctor said I'm going to have arthritis and that I have the shoulder of a 60-year-old man. He asked me, 'Do you really want to play football again?' I used what everyone in my family's going through as motivation and decided if they can battle through cancer, then I can battle through this.
 
“Even when the athletic trainers here at North Central ask me how my shoulder's doing and if I'm sure I want to keep doing this, every time I just tell them I feel fine.”
 
After sitting out the 2011 season to recover and rehabilitate, Ream returned to the 2012 lineup. He has become a mainstay on special teams for the 11th-ranked Cardinals and earned more time on the offensive line than he had before his injury.
 
“It's great,” Ream said of the opportunity to contribute to North Central's success once again. “I feel like I'm getting my chance to show my coaches I can play and be there for my teammates and be trusted by my teammates. I don't just want to stand on the sidelines, I want to participate.”
 
Ream's desire to show up for his teammates is, in part, reciprocation for their willingness to stand behind him and support him as he and his family have struggled.
 
“The team is like a second family to me,” he said. “After I came back, Alex Mann was one of the first to tell me he was here for me. A lot of people have done the same, telling me I can push through this. It helps me to keep pushing on.”
 
Ream has also found common ground with his coaches, particularly North Central head football coach John Thorne, whose wife Kathie was diagnosed in 2011 with multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable form of blood cancer.
 
“The coaches have become a big part of my life outside of football, too,” Ream said. “(Coach Thorne) and I actually had a conversation last winter term. We discussed what's going on in both our lives. That helped me a lot.”
 
While the fight against cancer has claimed many victims, Ream refuses to add his name to the list. He has learned from his experiences to view each new day as a blessing and carries his family's courage into everything he does.
 
“My message to people who are going through this is just don't give up, keep going,” he said. “I live by a quote from Walter Payton: 'Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.' I'm going to do everything I can today because I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. That's what motivates me.”
 
North Central's Cardinal Marketing and Promotions (CMaP) group will be selling T-shirts and wristbands in Championship Plaza beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, which is also the start of Cardinal FanFest. T-shirts can be purchased for $10 and wristbands for $1 while supplies last, with all proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. Cash and checks are the only forms of payment accepted, and checks may be made payable to North Central College. Kickoff at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is set for 6 p.m.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 31, at N.C. Wesleyan 28
Box Score
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Framingham State 29, at Fitchburg State 26
Box Score Recap
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
RPI 41, at Castleton State 13
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
at Massachusetts Maritime 26, Maine Maritime 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rochester 30, Gallaudet 2
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Husson 34, Alfred State 28
Box Score
Final
at Randolph-Macon 34, Sewanee 20
Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 20, Frostburg State 12
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Alfred 29, at Buffalo State 21
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Catholic 31, Newport News Apprentice 24
Box Score
Final
at Nichols 10, Becker 3
Box Score
Final
Wesleyan 22, at Middlebury 14
Box Score
Final
Bridgewater State 51, at Worcester State 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Tufts 24, Hamilton 17
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Amherst 14, Bates 6
Box Score Photos
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 32, Colby 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at William Paterson 36, Salve Regina 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 20, Lebanon Valley 14
Box Score
Final
Allegheny 24, at Hiram 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Merchant Marine 34, SUNY-Maritime 17
Box Score
Final
at St. Vincent 23, Case Western Reserve 20
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
Ursinus 31, at Franklin and Marshall 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Endicott 41, at Kean 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 40, at Averett 17
Box Score
Final
at Widener 41, Albright 23
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Greensboro 37, LaGrange 35
Box Score
Final
at Dickinson 29, Susquehanna 28
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Lawrence 31, Morrisville State 14
Box Score
Final
at Misericordia 35, FDU-Florham 0
Final
at Gettysburg 31, Juniata 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Montclair State 27, Lincoln (Pa.) 14
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final - OT
Bethany 21, at Westminster (Pa.) 14
Final
at Springfield 47, Mount Ida 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Norwich 10, WPI 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Iowa Wesleyan 13, at Minnesota-Morris 7
Box Score
Final
at Methodist 41, Huntingdon 34
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 37, at Baldwin Wallace 35
Box Score
Final
at Capital 34, Wilmington 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin 62, at Anderson 14
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 48, Carnegie Mellon 30
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
at Waynesburg 44, Geneva 38
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 24, at Defiance 21
Box Score
Final
at Manchester 55, Earlham 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Williams 36, Bowdoin 0
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Muhlenberg 59, at McDaniel 10
Box Score
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Otterbein 20, Marietta 0
Box Score
Final
Hope 25, at Lakeland 22
Box Score
Final
Olivet 49, at Aurora 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Albion 57, at Concordia (Wis.) 20
Box Score
Final
at Washington U. 24, North Park 19
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wisconsin Lutheran 32, Kalamazoo 20
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 23, at St. John's 14
Box Score Photos
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
Augsburg 42, at Carleton 14
Box Score
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 48, Hamline 19
Box Score
Final
Stetson 37, at Birmingham-Southern 19
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Texas) 14, at Sul Ross State 6
Box Score
Final
at Austin 21, Occidental 12
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Howard Payne 38, Southwestern Assemblies 25
Final
at Central 65, Maranatha Baptist 12
Box Score Recap
Final
at Luther 49, Grinnell 21
Box Score
Final
UW-Stevens Point 37, at Coe 21
Box Score
Final
at Greenville 30, Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 27, at MacMurray 21
Box Score
Final
Texas Lutheran 38, at Louisiana College 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score
Final
Trine 27, at Rockford 7
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
Rose-Hulman 48, at Hanover 42
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western Connecticut 45, Plymouth State 7
Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 37, at Wayland Baptist 23
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 23, Lewis and Clark 10
Box Score
Final
Willamette 42, at Cal Lutheran 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Alma 24, at Concordia-Chicago 21
Box Score
Final
Carroll 28, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 48
Box Score Recap
Final
Westfield State 14, at Mass-Dartmouth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 48, Crown 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 34, DePauw 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
St. John Fisher 36, at Brockport State 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Guilford 35, at Southern Virginia 27
@ Salem Stadium
Box Score Recap
Final
Wooster 63, at Oberlin 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Shenandoah 45, Ferrum 20
Box Score Photos
Final
Centre 28, at Washington and Lee 23
Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 35, Kenyon 25
Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 54, Wilkes 35
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-River Falls 43, at South Dakota Mines 28
Final
at Augustana 34, Loras 17
Final
at Dubuque 16, Pacific 10
Box Score
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 28, UW-Platteville 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Chicago 29, at Elmhurst 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 41, at UW-La Crosse 22
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at South Dakota State 41, UW-Oshkosh 3
Box Score
Final
Adrian 23, at Benedictine 6
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Wartburg 45, UW-Stout 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 41, Martin Luther 27
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 58, Southwestern 34
Box Score
Final
Rhodes 42, at Pomona-Pitzer 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Linfield 36, at Redlands 3
Box Score
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
St. John Fisher 36, at Brockport State 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 34, DePauw 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wartburg 45, UW-Stout 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at South Dakota State 41, UW-Oshkosh 3
Box Score
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 28, UW-Platteville 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 41, at UW-La Crosse 22
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Linfield 36, at Redlands 3
Box Score
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score

What We're Reading